Minerals Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Minerals?
Minerals are an essential part of the Earth’s ecosystem and are vital to human life. Minerals are naturally occurring, inorganic substances that form when rocks are weathered and eroded over time. They have a characteristic crystal structure and chemical composition that make them unique from other substances. Minerals provide vital nutrients for plants, animals, and humans alike, as well as being used in industrial processes such as manufacturing steel or making cement.Minerals can be divided into two main categories macrominerals and trace minerals. Macrominerals refer to those minerals needed by the body in large quantities such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium chloride (table salt), sulfur etc., while trace minerals refer to those needed by the body in very small amounts such as iron, copper, zinc etc. The human body needs both types of minerals for proper functioning; an imbalance of either type can lead to various health problems. For example, an iron deficiency can cause anaemia while too much sodium chloride can increase blood pressure levels.There are many sources of minerals including water (which contains dissolved mineral salts) soils which contain clay particles containing various mineral salts and rocks which contain ores which are mined for their valuable metals content e.g copper ore is mined for copper metal production whilst limestone is mined for use in cement manufacture or agricultural lime production etc. Consuming a balanced diet provides us with necessary daily intake of these important elements though it is also possible to take supplements if dietary deficiencies occur due to poor nutrition or special circumstances e.g pregnant women may need additional folic acid supplementation etc.In conclusion Minerals play a key role in sustaining life on earth through providing vital nutrients for plant growth animal nutrition and human health; without them life would not be possible.